Theme: JESUS THE PROPHET OF GOD
- Ezekiel 2:2-5; Psalm 122 (123). R/ v. 2;
- 2 Corinthians 12:7-10
- Luke 4:18 (Gospel Acclamation)
- Mark 6:1-6
Today we celebrate the 14th Sunday in Ordinary Time, Liturgical Year B. The readings today tell us that Jesus is the prophet of God. A prophet is one who speaks on behalf of God. He is the mouthpiece of God. He speaks the word of God. Jesus is the Word of God. He is the prophet of God par excellence!
The Gospel Acclamation today tells us that as the Prophet of God Jesus brings good news to the poor and proclaims liberty to the captives! St. Luke may have the economically and socially poor in mind, but in the context of today’s liturgy and readings, we may also include the spiritually poor and those held captives by sin!
More importantly, the gospel today tells us that we must have faith and believe in the good news in order to be saved!
The gospel today tells us that the people of Jesus’ home town did not believe in him. They saw him to be a carpenter. They knew his mother and brothers and sisters. (Brothers and sisters in Hebrew and Greek can also mean cousins, nephews, nieces, etc.; CSB; Faley) As a result Jesus could not work any miracles there. Jesus was amazed at their lack of faith!
The first reading follows the theme of the gospel. The first reading tells us that whether the people listen or not, obey or disobey, the Lord will send them a prophet and the prophet will preach the word of God, whether the people listen or not, obey or disobey. Thus we read in verse 7:
“You are to deliver my words to them whether they listen or not, for they are a tribe of rebels.” (Ezk 2:7; NJB)
The first reading is in fact the call of the prophet Ezekiel. (NJBC) Ezekiel prefigures Jesus Christ, the prophet par excellence! Jesus Christ will preach the word of God in season and out of season; whether the people listen or not, Jesus will preach the word of God. He will preach the word of God until his death and resurrection and the outpouring of the Holy Spirit for the salvation of the world!
The responsorial psalm follows the theme of the first reading. The responsorial psalm tells us that the prophet depends and relies on God, especially in times of persecution. (Faley) The responsorial psalm is a prayer of reliance and dependence on God. Thus the response of the responsorial psalm:
“Our eyes are on the Lord till he shows us his mercy.” (Ps 122 (123): 2; SM)
The responsorial psalm has three stanzas. The first and second stanzas are a prayer of reliance on God. The third stanza asks God to save the psalmist from the contempt of the proud. (CSB)
Incidentally, the second reading also tells us that Paul relies on God and depends on God’s grace, especially in times of weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions and agonies! And by relying on God in times of weakness, Paul becomes strong in God! Thus we read in the second reading:
“So I shall be happy to make my weaknesses my special boast so that the power of Christ may stay over me, and that is why I am quite content with my weaknesses, and with insults, hardships, persecutions, and the agonies I go through for Christ’s sake. For it is when I am weak that I am strong.” (2 Co 12: 9b-10; SM)
Today in this Mass, we thank God for his Son Jesus Christ, the prophet of God par excellence! And we ask God to give us the Holy Spirit so that we may become his prophets as a Church and as individuals to proclaim the good news of salvation so that all may believe and be saved! A happy and blessed Sunday to all of you!
Parish Priest of St Mary, Tawau, Sabah East Malaysia.